How Can Education Address The Social Mobility Dilemma?

How Can Education Address The Social Mobility Dilemma?

What's new?

According to the Social Mobility Commission’s State of The Nation Report 2018/19, social mobility in the UK has remained stagnant over the past four years, despite government interventions. This means that young people from low-income homes are less likely to access high-income careers and break the cycle of poverty.

Those from better-off backgrounds are almost 80% more likely to be in a professional job than their working-class peers. Due to this gap in access to professional jobs, people from working-class backgrounds earn 24% less a year. In addition, the report found that even when those from working-class backgrounds are successful in entering professional occupations, they earn on average 17% less than their more privileged colleagues.

These facts can be quite disheartening to young people and people who are working towards improving social mobility. However, it is important that we understand these issues so that we can develop strategies that are effective and sustainable. It may be a complicated issue, but we can start working on it if we make at least two significant changes – improving education and increasing the number of high-income jobs.

Education is key
It comes as no surprise that education has a profound effect on social mobility. The widening gap in attainment between young people from low-income backgrounds and their wealthier peers has far-reaching consequences. 

In fact, a 2019 report from the Education Policy Institute has found that the gap in GCSE attainment between disadvantaged pupils and non-disadvantaged pupils has stopped closing, which strongly correlates with current social mobility figures. This means that by the time they leave secondary school, disadvantaged pupils are now over 18.1 months behind non-disadvantaged pupils.

This huge gap means that young people from low-income backgrounds are not able to access university or other higher education routes, which means that they are shut out from accessing professional and high-income careers, which makes it increasingly difficult to break out of the cycle of poverty.

So how can we close this gap? Well, firstly we can help young people from low-income homes to access tutoring and mentoring programmes. Good tutors and mentors provide an invaluable resource to help young people to understand difficult topics, improve attainment, increase personal development skills, and develop strategies to reach career aspirations and goals. At the moment, young people from low-income homes simply cannot afford a good tutor or mentor. After school tutoring and mentoring programmes in state schools should be funded by the government so that these young people are provided with the same support as their peers from private schools.

State school funding should be increased to improve the opportunities and resources that they can provide to their pupils. This includes more funding for extracurricular activities and more funding for support staff. The University of Bath found that young people who participate in extracurricular activities are able to gain confidence and build up their social skills which is much sought after by employers. They are also more likely to aspire to go on to higher or further education. Unfortunately, the Social Mobility Commission reported huge disparities in children’s participation rates across a wide range of extra-curricular activities depending on their social background, with young people from wealthier families being much more likely to take part in every type of activity especially music and sport. This can be changed if state schools are able to provide access to a wide range of high-quality extracurricular activities.

With more funding, state schools will also be able to employ more support staff. This can help to reduce teacher workload which will increase the contact time between teachers and their pupils. An increase in contact time will give young people more time to understand difficult topics and increase the amount of individual attention given to them. Schools will also be able to employ full-time staff to support their pupils’ mental health and wellbeing needs. The Social Mobility Commission reported that young people from more disadvantaged areas are more likely to suffer from lower levels of wellbeing, which has far-reaching effects on their academic and personal development.

After secondary school, young people from low-income homes also need more support in accessing higher education routes such as colleges and universities. The Government has worked on increasing apprenticeships and will also introduce T-levels and other further education routes. However, according to the report from the Education Policy Institute, this has led to an over-representation of disadvantaged students in further education, which actually damages the government’s ambition of rectifying imbalances between further and higher education. Access to colleges and universities needs to be improved for young people from low-income homes so that they are able to attain the qualifications to allow them to access high-income and professional careers. 

This can be done through the introduction of a student premium to help college and university students from low-income homes, according to an article by London Metropolitan University. University access should also be further improved by increasing access to universities with higher prestige so that young people from low-income homes are able to compete fairly with their wealthier peers when looking for a job.

Increasing the number of high-income jobs
It’s all well and good to improve education and narrow the gap in attainment, but what will happen after school and university when even more young people need to compete for a job in a high-income career field. 

The good news is that over the last few decades, there has been a growth in the proportion of professional jobs and a corresponding decline in the proportion of working-class jobs, with the Social Mobility Commission reporting that nearly half of all current jobs are professional, while less than a third are working class. However, despite this growth, those from high-income backgrounds continue to get most of these top jobs, squeezing out those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.

This means that there is still a fierce amount of competition for a high-income career, and if more young people are able to access university and higher education, then the competition will become even fiercer. So, it is imperative that the number of high-income and professional jobs is increased to meet the greater demand so that young people from low-income homes are able to access high-paying careers. It’s also important to increase the number of high-income jobs to allow their wealthier peers to still be able to access high-paying careers. If they are shut out of high-income jobs, it will cause downward mobility which further worsens the issue of social mobility in future generations.

The Government needs to invest in creating more professional jobs by increasing investment in growing industries such as digital and technology, increasing investment in small businesses and entrepreneurship, and attracting more investment by continually developing and strengthening the workforce.

By improving education and increasing the number of high-income jobs, more young people from low-income homes will be able to access high-paying careers, which will stimulate social mobility and break the cycle of poverty for future generations.  The issue may be complex, but it can be solved if the Government, the private sector, and non-profit organisations are able to work together and do their part.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Learn new skills this Summer!

In the Know – Learn new skills this Summer!

In The Know Parents What's new?

The Summer holidays are a perfect opportunity for young people to learn new skills. This will not only expand their knowledge and keep their minds active, but it will also expose them to new career fields and interests that could help them reach their aspirations. Here are a few upcoming skill-building opportunities that your child could be interested in.

Architecture Summer School: Making Happy Places
Making Happy Places is a five-day free summer school where young people will learn about architecture and the environment and gain practical skills in drawing, model making and portfolio making. Young people between the ages of 15-18 will learn how the built environment and architecture has a direct impact on their lives, while also learning more about the opportunities in this career field. The summer school will take place from Monday 12th August to Friday 16th August. Find out more here

Pen to Print: Creative Writing Workshop
Pen to Print and Barking Library is running a free creative writing workshop for young people between the ages of 11-14. Children’s author, Sara Grant, will help young people to create stories and inspire and encourage them to develop their creative writing skills. The workshop is taking place on Wednesday 14th August from 2pm. Find out more here

CoderDojo @ Brandon Library
CoderDojo is running a free coding workshop for young people between the ages of 11-17 at Brandon Library in Southwark. This workshop will help young people to learn to code in a fun and creative environment, and they are not required to have any previous coding experience. The workshop will be taking place on Saturday 3rd August from 12pm. Find out more here

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Why It Takes A Lot More Than Tutoring For You To Get Your Child Into Oxbridge

Why It Takes A Lot More Than Tutoring For You To Get Your Child Into Oxbridge

Oxbridge Parents What's new?

Oxford and Cambridge universities, collectively referred to as Oxbridge, are two of the UK’s most prestigious universities. Being so prestigious also means that they are two of the most sought-after universities in the UK as well as globally. This makes getting a place at Oxbridge a very competitive process.

Due to this high competition, the acceptance rates at these universities will be quite low compared to other universities. According to the Oxford and Cambridge university websites, Oxford currently has an acceptance rate of only 17% and Cambridge has a slightly higher acceptance rate of 21%. With roughly 3 applicants per place, Oxbridge will only consider applicants with the highest academic ability and potential. 

One of the ways that young people can show that they have the highest academic ability is by making use of a private tutor to help them excel in their A-Levels. However, that is not where it should end. In fact, it is just the beginning. 

Where to begin?
Before you start preparing your child for Oxbridge it’s important that you discuss it with your child. You need to make sure that they understand what it takes to get into Oxbridge so that they can be prepared to work hard. You should also definitely get an understanding of their career aspirations and other passions. Having a clear understanding of this early on will be highly beneficial in shaping their goals and it will also help them to choose the right subjects in school to achieve their goals. In addition, if you are able to gauge your child’s abilities early on, it will be easier for you to see what they need to focus on and what they need help with. GT Scholars can offer help with this through our workshops and enrichment days which help teens with choosing a career and also finding out more about university. This is often the first step a parent should consider. It also helps the child to realise what subjects they need to achieve their goals.

Tutoring vs. Mentoring
Private tutoring focuses mainly on reinforcing what your child has learned at school and helping them to improve their understanding and keep track of their academic goals. But, have you considered getting them a mentor as well? A mentor is more of a guide and advisor that can help your child with their personal development, career goals and various other topics that go beyond their school work. They can also help them to develop valuable skills like time management and interpersonal skills that they can then apply to their daily life. The GT Scholars mentoring programme has found that instilling these concepts in your child from an early age helps to build their confidence, increase self-belief and help them to feel more independent.

Examination preparation
Young people are under immense pressure during exam periods, especially if they are thinking about getting into Oxbridge. It’s important that they prepare themselves well in advance so that they can avoid unnecessary stress and perform better. Beyond going over important topics with their tutor, they should also learn how to effectively tackle exams. Over the years, we at GT Scholars have seen how different children cope with exams, and it does not only depend on their academic abilities. They will need to be able to manage their time effectively, be able to handle and counteract stress, and be able to understand their exam questions and answer intelligently. We run an annual Study Skills and Exam Preparation workshop that they should definitely attend. The sooner you help your child to prepare for exams properly, the greater the possibility of them succeeding in their exams throughout their school and university life. 

Applications
Unfortunately, a tutor is not going to have the time to help your child prepare for the application process when considering Oxbridge. The application process can be quite complicated, with various documents and assessments that need to be completed. This can be further complicated depending on what career path your child has chosen. To make it easier, it’s important for young people to start their application process well in advance. They can even take a look at the application process when they first start thinking about studying at Oxbridge to get a better understanding of what is required. This will give them enough time to develop their personal statement, extracurricular activities and other ways to make their application stand out. Our mentoring programme and enrichment days can provide them with all the help and guidance that they need to complete their applications. 

Encouragement and support
Young people will feel more confident in accomplishing their goals if their parents believe in their ability to do so. As parents, you need to support your child in their decisions and help reinforce their skills and abilities. This will allow them to feel encouraged and they will be able to move forward into university life knowing that they will be more than fine. Reinforcing their skills will help them to be independent once they’re away from home. It will help them to easily navigate time management, interact with others and understand their work.   

These are just some of the action points you can take to help your child reach their aim of studying at Oxbridge. It’s not just about tutoring, it’s about building all of their skills to proceed into university life, helping them to be well-rounded individuals, and ensuring they feel supported every step of the way.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Great Ideas For One-to-One Tutoring Sessions

Great Ideas For One-to-One Tutoring Sessions

Volunteers What's new?

Tutoring should be a fulfilling experience for your scholar and for yourself. It should not be something that will be dreaded by your scholar and it should be something that is different from how your scholar learns at school.

With that being said, there can sometimes be a tug-of-war between trying to keep the tutoring sessions serious to complete the task at hand and making the sessions enjoyable. Creating a balance between the two is key, and once you are able to achieve that, you will find yourself looking forward to the tutoring sessions with your scholar and they will run more smoothly and effectively. 

One thing to keep in mind is to maintain your structure in terms of the content you intend to teach and the goals you have for those sessions, but be flexible in how you deliver the content and also how you interact with your scholar. Here are a few ideas you can use to keep your tutoring sessions energetic and effective.

Use icebreakers
Your first one-to-one tutoring session can be nerve-wracking for both you and your scholar. One of the ways to combat this feeling is to create or implement session icebreakers. This is a good way to get both of you comfortable and a good way to get to know a bit more about each other beyond the formalities of tutor and scholar. These icebreakers can simply be a 5-minute discussion about general topics outside of the planned content. These discussions can also help you to find the best ways to make the sessions most effective for your scholar.

Personalise your sessions
It is one thing to tutor someone, and another to tutor them effectively and produce the best results. It is important to find out more about your scholar and what they are looking to get out of your sessions and also what they want to personally achieve at school and beyond. Once you can establish a general outline for the first few sessions, you can personalise the sessions in a way which works well for both you and your scholar. 

Be supportive
Providing your scholar with support during each of your one-to-one sessions can greatly improve the way in which you interact with one another and it helps to boost their confidence. You need to be encouraging and to show them that the tutoring sessions are a safe space for them to be open about the areas or topics they struggle in. This will allow them to feel more comfortable and confident in how they approach the content you are tutoring, as well as establishing a respectful and comfortable relationship with you as their tutor. 

Encourage independent thinking
Tutoring is also important for encouraging your scholar to think independently. The idea behind this is to foster a growth mindset within your scholar so that they are able to tackle tasks independently and build their self-confidence. One way to do this is to help them to stand on their own feet and to think beyond the assistance you provide. During your tutoring sessions, you can create a short quiz or other mentally stimulating techniques that will help your scholar to build confidence in the subject and to not be dependent on your teachings alone. This will shift their perspective on how they approach topics, and it will promote their ability to think critically.

Engage your scholar
Another way to make your one-to-one tutoring sessions more productive and fun for both you and your scholar is to keep them engaged. During the session, you can get your scholar to actively participate by asking questions as the session progresses. If you only wait to ask questions at the end, you might lose their attention during the session. Keeping them engaged also creates room for them to ask any questions they may have regarding a particular topic and it allows them to better understand the topics being presented. 

Switch gears
Rather than sticking to the conventional methods of tutoring, you should use different methods to relay the information to your scholar. There are tons of learning tools available for you to use such as online videos, presentations, and other content. Introducing different learning tools makes the sessions less monotonous and more engaging, and it creates different ways for your scholar to learn and retain information. You can also get your scholar to participate by getting them to create short presentations to go over the content and pose any questions they may have for you at the end of their presentation. Furthermore, you can also incorporate the use of funny gifs or memes to get a particular point across. Just as long as it does not take away from the effectiveness of your tuition and their ability to learn, you should always explore new ways to teach your scholar.

Get their feedback
It takes two to tango, and feedback should not only be for you to give but also for you to receive from your scholar. Allow them to express and share their thoughts through feedback sessions, and be open to any constructive criticism. This feedback can then be used to learn how best to work with and for each other through your sessions.

For many scholars, learning can seem like such a task. However, your tutoring sessions should shed a different light on learning and stimulate their desire to learn. So don’t be afraid to try something new in your sessions and give you and your scholar something to always look forward to.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

Can Volunteer Tutoring Boost Your CV?

Can Volunteer Tutoring Boost Your CV?

Volunteers What's new?

When it comes to volunteer tutoring, it is often thought that only those on the receiving end of the volunteering service are being benefited. However, there are many short-term and long-term benefits that volunteer tutors receive when they choose to take on this role. One of these benefits is how this volunteer tutor role can boost your CV.

When a potential employer is going through your CV, they will always assess what extracurricular work you have done. When they see that you have previously taken on the role of a volunteer tutor, it reveals a few things about your character and the kind of person they would be bringing on board to work for them.

It shows initiative
Taking on the initiative to be a volunteer tutor is a great way to get your foot in the door to the working world. Potential employers will see that you are not primarily driven by money and that you are willing to put in work when it is needed without being prompted to do so. It shows that the betterment of others is something you take into consideration and that you are also able to think beyond yourself. It also shows that you are proactive and willing to go the extra mile.

More exposure for you
By becoming a volunteer tutor you create more opportunities for yourself to be seen. It makes your CV more captivating to potential employers and gives them an insight into how you spend your time outside of university or work and an overlook of your skills and capabilities. The opportunity to be a volunteer tutor also puts you in an environment you may not usually be exposed to, and in doing so, it allows you to meet other undergraduates and professionals who may be able to pass your CV to other people. This creates a platform for you to network with different peers your age who may also be volunteer tutors, as well as potential organisations you may want to work with in the future. Taking on the role of a volunteer tutor can also expose you to different potential career paths that you can look into.

Improved skills and experience
In as much as you are helping someone else improve their skills through your volunteer tutoring, you are also improving your skills and experience in the process. You have to find ways to be able to relate to the scholars you teach and find ways to relay the information you know to them. This improves with every tutoring session you have and helps to sharpen your communication, leadership, interpersonal, and performance skills. Being a volunteer tutor also helps with improving your thinking skills and personal development. In doing this, it gives you the right skills and experience for the workplace and under different conditions and environments.

Time management
Becoming a volunteer tutor requires you to have good time management in order to balance your academic career and personal time as well as being a tutor. It shows potential employers your organisational skills and how well you are able to manage the demands of studying and tutoring while working under pressure in some instances. Employers like to see that their potential employees have good time management skills and are able to allocate their time accordingly and prioritise different tasks effectively. Taking on the role of a volunteer tutor is also a good way to utilise spare time and learning how to manage that.

Preparation for the future
Being a volunteer tutor helps to prepare you for working environments and other future roles you may look into pursuing. Even though you have the free will to undertake your tutoring sessions in times that work well for both you and your scholar, you still work under a specific structure and you must still meet the required hours as well as produce certain results with regards to your scholar. You also have to maintain a standard of integrity and abide by the rules that govern the volunteers within that organisation. This shows potential employers that you have the ability to follow instructions and how well you are able to fulfil designated tasks and work independently.

It shows that you are reliable
Becoming a volunteer tutor is one thing, but doing the job that is required of you is another. When taking on the role, you have to ensure that you will be able to fully apply yourself to the role. This is an aspect that potential employers look at – how reliable you are and how well do you perform in your role? The more reliable you prove to be, the higher your chances of growing professionally are and the more people trust you to do things that require greater responsibility.

An opportunity for personal enrichment
Lastly, being a volunteer tutor creates room for your own personal enrichment. It helps you discover strengths or interests you may not have known that you had, and it provides you with a different perspective on how you can approach your career and personal life. There are always lessons to be learnt and growth to be experienced when you open your mind to new possibilities. You also learn some of the things that work and don’t work for you and also leave having acquired some self-enhancement through the whole experience.

If you would like to boost your CV and become a volunteer tutor, let us know! GT Scholars runs an after-school tutoring programme that is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic aspirations. We aim to tackle educational inequality and improve social mobility by helping young people gain access to the most selective universities and the most competitive careers. Visit our website to find out how you can become a tutor today.

In the Know – Bring the fun back into learning!

In the Know – Bring the fun back into learning!

In The Know Parents What's new?

We hope you had a great half-term break? In the spirit of getting back into the groove of things, this week we’re bringing the fun back into learning! With this week’s activities, your child will discover what they love about the subjects they take. Use these activities to reignite your child’s passion for school and remind them that education has a fun side!

Raspberry Coding Jam
The Pi Jam presents an exciting day of coding workshops, interesting talks and fun activities at their All London Raspberry event. This event is ideal for young people aged 11-16 who want to learn more about technology, programming and coding. This free event will cover Python, machine learning and Microbit as well as Scratch and programming activities. This event filled with coding fun will be on Saturday 8th June at The Microsoft Reactor London. Register your interest here.

The Saturday Club Summer Show!
This free event celebrates pushing the boundaries of creative education! The National Saturday Club Summer Show will be an exhibition of the research work of their 13-16 year old members. Their work will cover a wide range of subjects such as Fashion, Business, Science and Engineering. This is a great way to inspire your child to get excited and develop a passion for their school subjects. The event will take place from Saturday 8th June at Somerset House. Find out more here.

Rise of the Machines!
Be sure to take your child down to the Barbican Center for a day filled with activities to get your child thinking about technology that goes beyond their mobile phone! This event is free for 11-14 year olds and will include engaging, interactive activities such as driving a virtual sports car and creating images with a big screen robot that mimics your gestures. Find out more about this exciting event here.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

 

The Importance Of Tutoring For Your Child

The Importance Of Tutoring For Your Child

What's new?

Accessing university or an apprenticeship has become a very competitive process. This means that young people will need to stand out from the crowd, which means going over and beyond just getting good grades. 

To make their CV stand out, they need to have widespread experience, from sporting activities to music lessons, to work experience and volunteer programmes. With this, they also need to ensure that they find some down time to relax and develop strong friendships. 

They are now often kept busy with so many extracurricular activities that keeping track of their school work can become increasingly difficult, especially since they only spend a limited time at school. So how can they cope with their school load and be able to keep up with the rest of the class or even become the top achievers of their class?

This is even more important when we factor our own busy lives into the equation. You have a busy lifestyle of your own, so you may not have adequate time or knowledge on the subject to assist your child. You will need someone who can help your child with all their learning needs.

A tutor can be a valuable asset to ensure that your child gets the best professional assistance for their school work. As a tutor, their only job is to ensure that your child gets the attention they deserve for all their learning needs. Here are some reasons why it is so important to have this extra-curricular learning.

One-to-one interaction
Sometimes classes are so full that a child can get lost in the crowd. Generally, the teacher goes at a pace that accommodates the average of the class. But what if your child is just behind the average and has a difficult time catching up, or what if they cannot grasp an area of the subject that most of the class understands. The teacher may pause to explain but then they will have to go on. Large classes can also cause distractions which is not conducive for learning. 

On the other hand, tutoring can be one-to-one. The tutor will be wholly focused on your child’s individual needs and will tailor the lessons specifically for your child. They will also be able to spend more time on more difficult concepts to ensure that your child understands. 

Working at their pace
Each student learns and grasps concepts at a different pace. Some learn faster while others can be slower. This does not mean that the slower student is unable to understand the subject being taught but it merely means that they require more attention in a certain area. Tutoring can help your child to learn at a pace that is comfortable for them. Since it is tailored to their pace, they will also feel more relaxed and they will not feel anxious or stressed that they may be left behind. This is conducive to better learning. The tutor can also ensure that your child is able to fully understand a section and can even go over that section again until your child is ready to move on to a new section.

Balancing strengths and weaknesses
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and this also applies to subject areas. Some areas or subjects may seem easy to some students, while others may seem more difficult. This is because we all think and process information differently. With tutoring, your child can make it clear what they need more help in and what they don’t need extra help in. This will give them more time to focus on addressing and understanding difficult topics. 

This can also be applied to whole subjects. For example, some students may find a specific subject such as maths difficult to grasp. Other students may find maths easy, but then they may struggle with languages. With tutoring, you can find someone to help your child with specific subjects so that they can spend more time on getting better at that subject.

Homework and revision for tests
In a class setting, the teacher will allocate a certain amount of time for revision but some students may require more time than others. This is a great area for a tutor to assist in. They can set mock papers and quizzes for the student to go over. The tutor will also be able to give the student useful tips on how to go about completing their tests or examinations that a teacher may not always have the time to discuss. Students that complete more mock tests in preparation for their exams have a greater chance of understanding a problem or question in their final exams or tests.

We all want the best for our children, to see them succeed and to be happy. If they are able to get their good grades and do all of their extracurricular activities, they will definitely be able to reach their academic and career aspirations.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Top 10 Jobs Of The Future

Top 10 Jobs Of The Future

What's new?

When choosing your career path, there is often the dilemma of making sure you’re making the right choice. This does not have to be a dilemma if you take your time to understand yourself and do your research.

When doing your research, it will be good to start with careers that fall in line with your subject choices and strengths. You can then start considering which careers are more financially stable or what you will need to get a job in that career field. There can be many other questions and factors that you can include in your decision-making. 

One thing to note when doing your research is the fact that there is no correct or set list of the best careers out there. These lists will always vary and change according to trends and data. They may also not apply to your strengths or what you want to achieve, so it’s best to use them as a guideline instead of a rule book.  

To help you out, we’ve listed 10 jobs that current trends and data are favouring, which might help you out when choosing a career for you.

Software, Systems & Programme Developers
In a world dominated by technology, software, systems and programme developers are sought after for their high-level skills in developing programmes and software design. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this career is projected to have a 24% growth by 2026. Along with a fast-paced and exciting job life, this career can offer you the chance to work in a wide range of industries including designing software for large retailers and manufacturers for their systems, building the latest hit games and apps, or working on creating new software for tech companies. Software, systems and programme developers create solutions in almost every sector imaginable. To be a developer, you will need to have high levels of data structure skills and an understanding of artificial intelligence to keep up with the constant change in technology and data. 

Accountants
Accountants play an integral role in the planning, balancing and management of all company finances and the auditing of financial reports. Accountants are highly skilled in offering these financial services as well as other services such as taxation, creating accounting systems, putting budgets in place, and cost management for both companies and individuals. Due to increased globalisation and internationally traded services, the professional and business services sector, which includes accountants, is expected to grow. According to CoursesOnline, the accounting industry has a predicted growth rate of 10% by 2026. 

Computer and Information Systems Managers
Again, since the world is dominated by technology, careers in the technology sector will continue to be in high demand for a long time. Computer and information systems managers are responsible for the maintenance, support, design and modifications that ensure that networks, software and other virtual environment infrastructures are operative and are up to date. They are also in charge of delegating tasks to developers and providing training to staff. These careers will also definitely be in high demand in order to provide high cybersecurity protection for valuable data.

Management Consultants and Business Analysts
Management consultants and business analysts tend to be in demand because of their ability to help organisations solve problems, improve efficiency and manage change. They do this by bringing together the problem-solving and communication skills that are essential to identifying business needs. These careers also help businesses minimise risks when it comes to making big changes that could have a negative or positive effect on the company, and since change is unavoidable, these roles are particularly valued. 

Engineers
Engineering is a highly skilled and technical industry that transcends across different working disciplines. In the UK, the engineering industry is seen as one of the best in the world, so it is continually being invested in by both the private and public sectors. This means that there are great opportunities for those who want to be part of such a cutting edge discipline. Engineering involves turning research ideas into technical plans, the use of computer-aided design/modelling programmes, doing surveys of systems and equipment to assess that they are working properly, and overseeing maintenance programmes and quality control. 

Web Designers
Another career field in the technology sector, web designers are also expected to grow in demand. One thing that does separate web designers from other tech careers is the amount of creative skill needed. Web designers create the main features of a website, such as the layout, colours, and other specifics of a website. The can also be involved in developing branding and marketing plans. Companies and individuals with their own businesses are always looking for good web designers for their websites and blogs etc. Another plus about this career is the amount of flexibility and you can work as a freelance agent or work directly for a creative agency. 

Medical and Nursing Practitioners
Due to increased opportunities from medical research and advancement, social trends and an ageing population, there is a 15% projected increase in nursing & medical jobs by 2026 according to CoursesOnline. Everyone needs to be healthy and medical care is one of the fundamental human rights. Doctors, surgeons, nurses and all medical practitioners will remain in demand as they are a necessity and play an important role in society. Technological innovations within this sector are also expected to change these careers but also keep them in high demand.

Teachers and Learning Professionals
No matter how advanced technology gets, teachers and other learning professionals, play a vital role in the development of young people and the education of the population. These careers require excellent communication skills and a passion for developing young minds. They also require creating good working relationships with parents, school governors and other stakeholders.

Motivational Speakers
With an increasing focus on personal development and mindfulness, motivational speakers are high in demand for businesses, universities, schools, and individuals. Motivational speakers help to inspire continuous growth in the minds of their audiences with the hopes of helping them to stay motivated and be more self-aware. They have to have a lot of confidence and need to be able to use their knowledge and experience to inspire change.

Entrepreneurs
According to the Financial Times, nearly 660,000 start-ups and companies were established in the UK in 2016. This is set to continue to grow as more government-sponsored initiatives are introduced to encourage people to set up businesses. Entrepreneurs invest in themselves and in their ideas and are able to turn their ideas into profitable businesses. They are also able to create jobs and can even address other needs in society through social entrepreneurship.

If you’re not sure what career path is right for you, GT Scholars holds an annual Careers Day where you can find out first hand from young professionals in various fields on how they found their career and reached their aspirations. Visit our website to keep a lookout for the next Careers Day or for our other impactful enrichment days and programmes.

10 Tried and Tested Study Methods

10 Tried and Tested Study Methods

What's new?

For some young people, studying can seem like such a daunting and impossible task. However, the good news is that studying can be easily done if you figure out ways to study that work for you. When it comes to studying, there is no one conventional way to study, and what may work for someone else may not work for you.

Here are some useful study methods that you can explore to help you get the most out of your study sessions.

Know yourself
Before getting into a study routine or practice, it is good to understand and know how you operate with regards to studying and what things work best for you as an individual. You can do a short S.W.O.T (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of yourself and your academic career and from there determine how best to proceed with applying certain study methods to suit you.

Create a productive environment
Where you study is just as important as how you study. Finding a productive place to study really does make a world of difference between a progressive study session and one where you are wasting your time. It is always helpful to filter out things that can distract you like TV, your cellphone, areas where there is too much noise etc. Find a study spot in places like your school library, a quiet room at home, an empty classroom after school, a quiet cafe or a quiet area in your schoolyard. However, don’t limit yourself to one study space. A change of scenery once a while will also keep your mind refreshed and energized.

Create a study schedule
This might seem like added work but this is another useful approach to studying. Having a pre-planned study schedule helps your mind to be better prepared to study and creates a routine that you can adjust to. Consistency is key, and setting aside a specific time to study is very important. The hours that you choose to allocate to studying depend on you as a person and how long your concentration can keep up.

Set goals for your study session
Write down the topics or sections you wish to cover during each study session, and in doing so, you can monitor your progress and learn to manage your time effectively. This becomes very effective when taking your tests or exams, as you are better prepared with allocating time to certain questions and not panicking about whether the time given in your tests or exams is enough. It is also helpful for you to know the subjects and topics you are strong in and those that you need to work on so that you can decide how much time you will spend working either one.

Take short breaks
Do not overwork yourself and allow yourself to take much needed short breaks. When you do feel you are repeating certain information and there is no progression, take a 10-15 minute break and give yourself some time to regroup and rest your brain. Remember, it is about productivity and maximising on the studying. Rushing to complete your studying without retaining any of the information is pointless. Work hard, but also work smart.

Take practice tests
Most schools do make past test and exam papers available. Use these to practice and apply the knowledge you have retained from your study sessions. You can either take a past test/exam paper after every study session or take one at the end of the week to also gauge how well you are able to remember all the work you have covered in the last week. You can also ask your teachers to make mock tests/exams if they are able to and this will give you good practice and a good general idea of what to expect in the final test/exam paper that will be set.

Get into a study group
Study groups are very useful as they provide several benefits that studying alone may not. For one, you and your fellow study peers can each designate set topics and subjects to cover and when you reconvene to discuss, you are able to share and cover more information collectively and have open discussions about subjects and topics you may not understand. Study groups also help with regulating your study sessions and incentivising you to do the work allocated to you because you are accountable to not only yourself but to your peers as well. Another benefit is that these particular group sessions help with teaching you how to work together in a group context.

Make study notes
This may or may not seem obvious but some students think reading the material once or twice over is sufficient enough. However, taking notes and phrasing them in ways that are easier for you to remember is an effective way to not forget what you have read. You can make your own small study flashcards which you write on and can carry with you. When you have a moment and feel you want to refresh your mind and you’re not in your usual study space, you can take them out and go over the content you wrote. Flashcards are convenient because you don’t have to flip through pages to find what you want. You can highlight the topics on the cards and make the cards as fun and easy to read as you want. You can even put some of them up in your room for the subjects and topics that you need to constantly go over.

Revise your work
Getting yourself to study is only part of making yourself more effective and familiar with your subjects and topics. You also need to revise the work continually in order to maintain your momentum as well as progress with retaining the information and improving overall. There are different ways you can do this. You can go over the work you have covered out loud in the comfort of your room or get a family member or friend to listen to you while you go over what you remember. You can also get them to ask you questions and with some of the content, you can record or get an audiobook and listen to it. What is important is making sure that you revise and go over your work often.

Have confidence in yourself
You have probably heard the popular phrase “nothing will work unless you do,” and this is definitely worth remembering. Have the confidence to believe in yourself in order to get the best out of what you are applying your mind to. Some study sessions may seem like a drag or difficult but always remember that you can do anything you apply yourself to, it is just a matter of trying and asking for help when you need it. You got this!

If you do find that you are not sure how to get started with a study schedule or how to approach studying as a whole, GT Scholars offers programmes that will definitely help you gain the confidence to approach studying, as well as tutors to help you make the most out of your study sessions. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Why It Is Important For Our Volunteers To Receive Safeguarding Training

Why It Is Important For Our Volunteers To Receive Safeguarding Training

Volunteers What's new?

As part of the recruitment process, all of our volunteers have to undergo safeguarding training. One of the first things to understand about safeguarding training is that it is not limited to young people only. Safeguarding training is implemented in order to ensure the welfare of many different types of individuals, particularly young people, but also vulnerable adults to protect them from any potential harm. 

This would include protection from any form of abuse and mistreatment and creating a safe environment in which they are able to develop in a healthy and safe space. Safeguarding looks to minimise the physical and mental risks that young people can be exposed to by those that work with them.  

It is imperative that all volunteers that work with and would like to work with young people or vulnerable adults receive sufficient safeguarding training. It is also a legal requirement and all organisations must have a safeguarding policy in place. Here are a few reasons why safeguarding training is important for our volunteers.

Awareness
One of the important aspects of safeguarding training for volunteers is that it helps you to identify and be aware of specific signs of abuse, neglect and vulnerability amongst the young people you are working with. This allows you to actively monitor the young people you are in contact with and to be consciously aware of their wellbeing. Safeguarding also allows you to be aware of any potential psychological and physical risks regarding the work you are doing with the young people you are responsible for.

Conduct
Safeguarding training equips you with the right tools you need to conduct yourself professionally with the young people you will be working with. It teaches you how to approach and deal with situations that may arise concerning the young people in your care and how best to ensure a conducive, safe and healthy environment for them. Safeguarding training also helps to ensure your own safety and how to conduct yourself in sensitive situations that may arise when working with young people or vulnerable adults.

Clarity
Safeguarding training helps you to know what your role is and how to best fulfil it when working together with young people. It sets out clear-cut boundaries that are helpful in understanding what is required of you in terms of your skills, experience and time commitment. The training also provides well-defined procedures and rules to adhere to according to the organisation you are working for. You learn how to report particular incidents and how to safeguard sensitive information pertaining to the young people you will be working with as well as the organisation. Safeguarding training also helps you to keep a sense of perspective and proportion between benefits and risks involved with the volunteer role you will be taking on. Through the safeguarding training, you are able to determine whether you are able to commit to what is required of you.

Reassurance
It is important as a volunteer that you are sufficiently trained in order to reassure the parents of the young people you will be working with. Parents need to know that their children are in good hands when dealing with organisations who work with their children and the staff and volunteers who are a part of that organisation. This is why organisations run DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks. DBS checks not only provide some reassurance for parents but they also help to protect organisations and young people. It creates transparency for all parties involved and helps organisations and parents know more about the volunteers. It is an essential safety precaution. 

Communication
Safeguarding training allows for effective channels of communication to be formed and developed.  As a volunteer, you need to be able to communicate well, not only with the organisation you work for but also with the young people in your care. This creates a trusting and safe environment for them to be able to relay their needs and wellbeing to you.

Knowledge
Safeguarding training also provides an opportunity for you as a volunteer to get to know more about the organisation you are applying to work for and the more intricate details of how the organisation operates. It gives you an insight into their procedures and approaches that are set in place in dealing with the young people you will be working with. 

Overall, safeguarding training is there to help ensure the safety and protection of the individuals, particularly young people that are exposed to working with volunteers and other individuals who oversee their care in whichever form. It is set in place in order to help equip you as a volunteer and help with preparing you for your role when dealing with young people or vulnerable adults. This will allow you to do your best as a volunteer and it will create an efficient, safe and healthy working environment. 

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.